Intel SSD 730 Series SSD Review (2x480GB)

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of highly compressible data (oFill/1Fill), or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.  The bottom left drive represents the single SSD 730 while the right provides the results of both 480GB SSDs in RAID o:

RAID Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB CDM DUAL

The single SSD results are just a bit low for our liking, however, the RAID 0 results are ideal and right in line with Intel’s viewpoint that two of their Intel SSD 730 SSDs in RAID 0 would be an excellent solution for working with media.

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.6

Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data.  AS SSD, for the most part, gives us the ‘worst case scenario’ in SSD transfer speeds because of its use of incompressible data and many enthusiasts like to AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

SINGLE 730 SERIES SSD

Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB AS SSDIntel SSD 730 Series 480GB AS SSD IOPSRead performance has climbed back up but write throughput, as well as IOPS are a bit low.  Quick access times and a great 4K random write result of 101MB/s result in a Total Score of 1057.

2X 730 SERIES SSDS IN RAID 0

RAID Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB AS SSDRAID Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB AS SSD IOPSPerformance in RAID 0 is as high as we might expect it and we also get a first look at IOPS that are a bit lower than listed specifications, this typical of AS SSD results.  As Intel is making the sale of this SSD as a media professional consideration, let’s take a look at the Copy Benchmark in as a single SSD and in RAID:

RAID Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB AS SSD Copy BenchIntel SSD 730 Series 480GB AS SSD Copy BenchThe RAID speed and duration in moving an .ISO file is great but we have to wonder about the transfer of the Program file in both tests.  Typically, both would reach SATA 3 these days and we would definitely expect that at the RAID level.

PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

INTEL SSD 730 SSD PCMARK VANTAGE TOTAL SCORE

We conducted PCMark Vandage HDD Suite testing for both the Intel SSD 730 as a single unit, and also, in RAID 0.  The single SSD scored an incredible 75279 points while 97519 was achieved in RAID 0.  Both results are absolutely incredible for PCMark Vantage and 5 of 8 tests had transfer speeds above 450MB/s in the RAID result, with a high transfer speed of 596MB/s, this being one of the highest single scores we have seen to date.

INTEL 730 SERIES SSD

Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB Vantage

INTEL 730 SERIES SSD X 2 RAID 0

RAID Intel SSD 730 Series 480GB Vantage

TRANSFER SPEED TESTING – 25GB MEDIA FILE

Our final test scenario consisted of transferring a 25GB packet of HD and Blu-Ray movies from one spot on the logical drive, be it a single SSD or two in RAID 0, to another on that same drive.  All drives were secure erased before this test was conducted and all tested in the same scenario.

Intel Transfer Speed Tests

Surprisingly, two 480GB Intel 730 SSDs in RAID 0 even surpassed the transfer speed of Samsung 840 pro 512GB SSDs also set up in RAID 0, by seconds. If you consider that a typical HD file is just under 1GB in size, we are moving complete HD movies at just under 2 seconds per movie.  These are incredibly fast file transfers.

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Hoai Phuong
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Hoai Phuong

The first SSD which performs better random read in RAID than running alone I’ve ever seen! Good job Intel and thanks so much for the review! 😀

Jim Fripat
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Jim Fripat

why are there no other SSDs in the comparison pool for any of the tests? other sites show this SSD as much slower than others, yet comparisons are avoided here.

Les@TheSSDReview
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The best thing about multiple site reviews is that we all have our own way of either comparing or not comparing. Comparisons are not avoided at all, but rather, we have provided report consistent to that we have provided for several years. Thanks for checking our report out!

dravo1
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dravo1

I noticed that this SSD requires 12v and 5v inputs whereas other SSDs only require 3.3v. Is this just because of the controller being used?

SMiThaYe
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SMiThaYe

I had checked the datasheet last week and its either 12 V or 5V not both, using 12V is marginal gains. Check page 9 for more details from the whitepaper and much more: http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-specifications/ssd-730-series-spec.pdf

Lubomir
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Lubomir

Les, I always wonder when I see RAID0 results worse than single-SSD. My suggestion for you : try to compare SW RAID0 with HW RAID0 using proper controller, like the new LSI or Adaptec7/8series you liked so much. They have definitely shown some phenomenal muscles.

I guess several readers would be interested in software VS hardware raid0 performance numbers…

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thanks for the advise.

peter van schie
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peter van schie

is the corsair neutron gtx not faster than this ssd

Les@TheSSDReview
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The Neutron GTX has a rocket controller that has never got the true visibility it should. The same controller is used in the Seagate. Looking at numbers alone, you are absolutey correct but the 730 offers something just a bit more impressive that might lure in so many walking on the fence, proven reliability which has seen enterprise, as well as endurance.